Octave is a revival of an elzevir-style typeface originally designed by Theophile Beaudoire. French Elzevir types, also known as French Old Style types, started in 1846 with Louis Perrin’s cut of the Lyons capitals, a roman titling font. A few years later in 1858, Theophile Beaudoire, sous-directeur of the Fonderie Générale in Paris, transformed the idea of the Lyons capitals into a complete Oldstyle typeface (his Elzévir, named after the Dutch Renaissance printers Elsevier) to enornmous success. Elzevirs, or French Oldstyle typefaces were subsquently widely reproduced by type foundries all over the world.
Our revival is based on a cut of Beaudoire’s Elzevir used in a book titled, Histoire de La Musique en Russie by Albert Soubies 1898, and remains fairly faithful to the source material with optical adjustments and improvements made during the digital drawing process. The typeface features a translation-style contrast, meaning the thicks and thins of the letters are largely decided by how a calligraphic broad-nibbed pen would create those letters. Small serifs and heavy-feeling bowls in letterforms give the typeface a cool elegance.
Octave was born from a book about music (hence the name), and features several musical emojis and symbols as an homage to the source material and also to Theophile Beaudoire, who was not only a typographer working in with the latin alphabet but who also engraved punches for musical typography. After spending more time with these letterforms, we also adding a series of small caps, and small display caps that are accesible via an OpenType feature that allow for interesting and expressive ligatures and rhythmic typographic compositions that feel like little pieces of typographical music.
- Octave Variable
- Weight 400
ABBA is a Swedish supergroup formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group’s name is an acronym of the first letters of their first names arranged as a palindrome. One of the most popular and successful musical groups of all time, they became one of the best-selling music acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982, and in 2022. In 1974, ABBA were Sweden’s first winner of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo,” which in 2005 was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the contest. During the band’s main active years, it consisted of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. With the increase of their popularity, their personal lives suffered, which eventually resulted in the collapse of both marriages. The relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with later compositions featuring darker and more introspective lyrics. After ABBA separated in December 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus continued their success writing music for multiple audiences including stage, musicals and movies, while Fältskog and Lyngstad pursued solo careers. Ten years after the group broke up, a compilation, ABBA Gold, was released, becoming a worldwide best-seller. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into Mamma Mia!, a stage musical that toured worldwide and, as of April 2022, is still in the top-ten longest running productions on both Broadway (closed in 2015) and the West End (still running). A film of the same name, released in 2008, became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. A sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released in 2018. In 2016, the group reunited and started working on a digital avatar concert tour. Newly recorded songs were announced in 2018. Voyage, their first new album in 40 years, was released on 5 November 2021 to positive critical reviews and strong sales in numerous countries. ABBA Voyage, a concert residency featuring ABBA as virtual avatars, opened in May 2022 in London.